I’ve been eating spicy food since I was a toddler, so I’ve truly honed the skill. If I’ve been away from Asia for more than a week, I start to feel that the food is bland without all that spice. I find it hard to have french fries without chilli sauce which is a readily available condiment here. The chilli sauce outside of Asia is usually a kind of sweet sauce and doesn’t have the same effect. Imagine a bland mocktail versus a cocktail. I just love spicy food and I think most Singaporeans can take the heat.
When I have Chinese food, I am always adding green chillies in vinegar to my noodles or red chilli padi (which can burn the roof off your palate) to steamed rice and dishes. It adds to the already incredibly yummy dishes. And spicy Indian curries are readily available here with a free flow of ice-cold water. You’ll need it when your tongue’s on fire. These days I have toned it down a bit so that the true flavor of the dishes are not masked or overpowered.
It seems a bit odd that we complain about the heat of our weather, but yet we love to eat food that’s hot and spicy. Luckily we can do it in air-conditioned bliss.
On the other hand this would be on my sister’s no-no list. When my mum made chicken curry when we were little, she used to run to the sink to wash the chicken drumstick under the tap to get all the curry off. Just a speck of chilli and food is inedible to her. So I guess chilli tolerance is nature and not nurture?
Would love to hear about your relationship with chilli.